Kick starting this week is UP10TION with their first comeback of the year! The group returned today as a seven-member lineup (yup, still no Kim Woo Seok and Lee Jin Hyuk, while Jinhoo has extended his hiatus by enlisting into the miltary in November of last year) with the new single SPIN OFF and their second studio album, Connection. This is the group’s first comeback since the release of Light last year in September and re-release of Destiny in November, which I have yet to review (I believe I had flagged the song to be reviewed as part of an album review and the music video as part of a music video catch-up segment, but had since dropped the album review for Light Up due to falling behind on them).
What drew me to the song before it was released (via the teasers) was the energy of SPIN OFF. It has been a long time since I was so excited for an UP10TION release, so the expectations have been raised. And within seconds of start of the song, UP10TION unleashes the energy and hits the expectation bar that I had set for it. This start was more of an introduction, rather than starting with the chorus. But we were still teased for what’s to come and I am already digging the funky vibes that come from the guitar in the instrumentation – very 2021. The funky guitars are removed for the verses, and hence these sequences felt pretty plain. It would disappointing that you couldn’t really feel the funk anymore in the verses. It would have been great for they continued the momentum and energy from the intro, as that would have made the song mind-blowing. But I guess the funky elements in the chorus would not have been as mind-blowing and exciting as they were, if they were left in the verses somehow. What I did like was the pre-chorus, which brought some sleekness to the song by stripping the song more of its instrumentation. It opted for the clear showcase of vocals, and a simple and uncomplicated backdrop. And by stripping back the instrumentation in this crucial part of the song, it made the chorus feel more blastful and impactful. For the chorus, it feels more weighted and substantial in comparison to the introduction of the song. The energy was definitely fulfilling and quite explosive. Same could be said about the vocal work, particular Sunyoul’s vocals. I would have liked the chorus more if it had a more memorable hook within the lyrics. But the instrumentation itself was quite unforgettable already. Right after the chorus, we get the second verse rap sequence. While I was going to say it was a good rap sequence, I was distracted by a really brief, repetitive and high-pitched screech that I found somewhat annoying. But I liked how the overall rap sequence changed up the dynamic of the song, especially with the deep voices of the rappers. Fast-forwarding to the bridge, it is interesting that despite such a high energy track, SPIN OFF was able to be stripped back without really ruining the song in any way. I thought the bridge of the song was really well executed, showcasing Hwanhee’s vocals this time around. I also really like the relaunch into the final chorus, delaying it with an electronic percussion sequence without it feeling like a delay. Pretty clever. It is unfortunate they had to close with another rap sequence that has that same annoying repetitive screechy effect, though this time it was briefer. Overall, SPIN OFF is definitely their best title track in a very long time, showcasing top energy and their skills. Hopefully, the rest of their album reflect the same (hint hint, nudge nudge).
Though the music video does really have much substance other than choreography and closeups, I really thought the mixture of coolness and classiness really made the members look so good. It was a great visual concept! I also really like the kaleidoscope shots throughout the video. They gave off a very unique and mysterious feel to the video. I also really like the set locations for the choreography shots in this music video, particularly the room full of mirrors. That looked really cool. I am not sure if that is a permanent building somewhere in South Korea (please let me know where if this is the case, I would really love to visit it one day once it is safe to travel again) or if it was a specifically designed set. But the aesthetic and architecture look amazing!
For the choreography, I would have liked to have seen some impressive moves. That would have really made the performance memorable. But SPIN OFF‘s choreography (as it is currently) is quite dynamic and matches the energy of the song. I did like the introduction to the performance, along with the twisty moves in the second verse.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10